The South San Antonio Independent School District board’s failure to meet for almost two months “created monumental problems,” according to reports from the district’s state-appointed monitor, but those don’t include not issuing contracts to more than a dozen teachers.

In a February report to the Texas Education Agency, monitor Abe Saavedra wrote that the board’s failure to meet for seven weeks delayed the issuing of contracts to 14 teachers who were hired in the summer or fall of 2021. Under the Texas Education Code, teachers must have contracts.

But Saavedra told the San Antonio Report on Thursday that it is the South San ISD interim superintendent who is responsible for issuing teacher contracts and all other non-administrator contracts. The district has a local board policy that allows the superintendent to issue such contracts without seeking board approval, which is permitted under state law.

As of Wednesday, interim Superintendent Henry Yzaguirre had not issued contracts to the 14 teachers, Saavedra said. The teachers were hired in the summer or fall of 2021 and have been working without contracts.

The board named Yzaguirre interim superintendent in December, after placing Superintendent Marc Puig on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a private conversation that was picked up by a live microphone.

In the past five months, South San ISD has paid almost $200,000 to employ both Puig and Yzaguirre, which is equivalent to one superintendent’s annual salary. The district has paid Puig about $93,750 and Yzaguirre about $93,953 since December, totaling $187,703.

Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum is the San Antonio Report's education reporter.